by Patrick Appel
Douthat puts forward a thought I've had as well:
My column tried to make the substantive case for why Republicans should champion alternatives to mass incarceration. But bring the African-American vote into the equation, even on the margins, and you can make a politically self-interested case as well. In the age of Obama, in a country that will be majority-minority in a few short decades, the Republican Party needs to do something to alter its image with non-white voters. And championing criminal justice reform seems like a much more plausible way of changing how blacks think about the G.O.P. than all the “hip-hop” Republicanism that Michael Steele can muster.